DAY 12: Give intelligently
‘Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’ 2 Corinthians 9:7
In a climate of cutbacks we are more conscious of waste.
When we give, we want to ensure that our giving is not wasted, but reaches those in need and produces real benefits. So, here are my rules of thumb about giving intelligently when resources are scarce…
First, listen to your passions - what do you care about? If God has already laid burdens on you, then go with these.
Second, read the literature of the people who ask for your support. I am always cautious about too much hype and want to know that money really finds its target.
Third, weigh up what your giving can do in concrete terms and how far it can stretch.
And finally; pray. Pray that you will be led to the project or organisation that God wants you to support and that your giving will be a source of transformation.
I am always conscious that money given from the West to the Global South stretches a long way. When I visited Ethiopia with Tearfund, I saw the huge benefits of vital water and sanitation projects in remote rural areas, being funded by gifts of people in the UK.
Through our church links, British Christians had enabled a local man to set up business making clean water filters, to be bought by villagers, with huge benefits for children's health.
Not only that, our giving was resourcing self-help groups, where women formed their own savings and loans initiatives. The self-help groups were helping these women lift themselves out of poverty through small-scale enterprises.
Intelligent giving? I think so.